On Saturday June 8th, Audubon Arizona Executive Director Sarah Porter and Principal of Strategic Planning Consultants in Tempe Sarah Luna brought together a team of over 60 volunteer leaders for a workshop. We met to outline the problems the rivers face, but also to strategize how the network should proceed now and in the future. Speakers highlighted the significance of Arizona’s rivers, in that they have great biodiversity but also supply millions of people with water.

            Our guests learned how to effectively advocate for water conservancy.  From presentations by consultant Larry Landry, Arizona State Senate representative Katie Hobbs, Arizona State House representative Kate Brophy-McGee and Michelle Davidson, Staff Director for U.S. Representative Kyrsten Sinema , we learned about the importance of building respectful relationships with legislators. They advised constituents to email or speak directly about their concerns of water conservancy. The legislators said that it is beneficial to learn about their constituents’ concerns, especially if the issues are ones they are not necessarily too familiar with. Further, the two legislators noted that they are more likely to act in response to a large number of people voicing their opinions about one specific topic. We can strengthen this process by signing [the WRAN petition].

Workshop attendees committed to spreading the word about WRAN efforts, from informing legislators of the Western Rivers issues to writing letters to editors of relevant publications.

One piece of information that speakers including Brittany Choate Xiu, Program Coordinator of the Water Resources Research Center at the University of Arizona, stressed was that while there is not much factual difference between surface water and ground water, there is a hard legal distinction between the two. Understanding the distinction is important for sustainable water conservation.

Contact your state and federal elected representatives about the issues WRAN faces. One immediate crisis we face is protecting the San Pedro. The Bureau of Land Management is working on a Resource Management Plan (RMP)/ Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the San Pedro Riparian Natural Resource Conservation Area. A Notice of Intent was published in the Federal Register on April 30, 2013, announcing the beginning of the scoping process that will solicit public comments and identify issues. The public is invited to participate throughout the planning process to share their ideas and concerns. Formal scoping meeting dates and locations are posted under Meeting Information on this page.

For more information:



How you can help, right now